Scott Morrison Reportedly Blindsided Everyone By Swearing Himself Into A Bunch Of Roles
Both the resources and finance ministers were reportedly bamboozled.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly swore himself in as resources minister in December 2021 — behind the back of then resources minister Keith Pitt — a new report claims.
According to a new book entitled Plague — written by Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers — Morrison also reportedly swore himself into the portfolios of health and finance back in 2020 amid the rising threat of the pandemic.
While the then health minister Greg Hunt was reportedly informed of the change, Mathias Cormann — who held the Finance portfolio — claims he was not.
“I trust you mate but I’m swearing myself in as health minister too,” Morrison reportedly told Hunt at the time.
But now it has been revealed that Morrison reportedly pulled the same move on Pitt, then used this power to kill a controversial gas project set to take place off the NSW coast. The move to quash the controversial project came amid the rising threat of teal independent candidates ahead of the election — who vocally opposed the projects due to their close proximity to the state’s coastline.
Pitt — who believed at the time he was the sole resources minister — wanted to approve the project and only discovered that he shared the portfolio with the then-PM when Morrison revealed he could make the decision without Pitt’s approval.
In addition to Pitt and Cormann reportedly being blindsided by the move, the public was also never informed of the appointments.
According to the new book, Morrison was able to swear himself in without the approval of the Governor General after seeking legal advice from then Attorney General Christian Porter, who informed him he could swear himself into the roles through an administrative legal instrument.
The decision to do so has since been slammed by former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, who called it “very bad practice”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has given a press conference on Monday morning condemning the move, calling it “extraordinary and unprecedented”, accusing Morrison of running a “shadow government”.
“Let’s be very clear: Australians knew during the election campaign that I was running a shadow ministry. What they didn’t know was that Scott Morrison was running a shadow government. A shadow government that was operating in the shadows. What we have when we get sworn in as ministers is that there’s some transparency there,” said Albanese in a press conference.
He went on to claim that nothing about the government was real under Morrison’s leadership.
“Nothing about the last government was real, not even the government itself,” said Albanese.
“This isn’t some, you know, local footy club. This is a government of Australia where the people of Australia were kept in the dark as to what the ministerial arrangements were. It’s completely unacceptable.”
The Albanese government will be investigating the matter further and will seek legal advice.